House explodes, propane may have been involved say investigators

Posted by Coretta Williams - email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - An early morning explosion rocked a Longview neighborhood. It happened just before 1 am in the 600 block of Berkshire Drive. One house was destroyed by the explosion.

Right now, fire investigators are looking at the case as a suspected gas explosion.

The debris was littered throughout the yard and neighborhood. Thursday morning, fire crews were back on the scene trying to asses the damage and find out what exactly happened.

83-year-old Dorothy Chandler and her son Bill were trapped inside the home and fire fighters were able to pull them out of the debris.

Investigators tell us neighbors say they did smell natural gas in the area Wednesday, and investigators are now looking into the possibility of propane being involved.

Several homes in the neighborhood also suffered minor damage.

"Honestly, I thought that by looking at the damages, there's no way anybody would have survived," said Brandon Thornton, a neighbor. "Fortunately, when I was checking on them and I yelled they both said they were find. Apparently, they had been in a bathroom when the explosion had occurred."

"I want to thank the fireman and policeman for doing such a good job," said Dorothy Chandler, the homeowner who survived the explosion. "I'm so proud of y'all. I feel like hugging everyone of your necks. Thank you so much! Thank you! thank you!" God bless everyone of you!"

Of course, she's still shaken up by the explosion, but nevertheless blessed and thankful to be alive.

Fire investigators tell us it could take days for them to figure out what caused the explosion.

They say their first step is to re-construct where the fire started and try to piece it all together.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.